The Bitcoin investor is on the verge of unlocking a fortune of $ 220 million — or perhaps losing it forever

Ninth Time Attraction? For Stephen Thomas, it is a $ 220 million question.

The San Francisco programmer, according to the New York Times, owns 7,002 bitcoins BTCUSD.
+ 1.54%
He cannot access a digital wallet because, well, he has lost the password. He tried to guess this eight times to no avail. Now, he has got only two more chances or his fate will be gone.

The hard drive where its bitcoin is held, known as IronKe, allows users 10 attempts to crack the code before encrypting their content forever. Apparently, this has been a stressful time for Thomas, who lost a piece of paper with a password years ago.

“I’ll just lay in bed and think about it,” he told the Times in an interview. “Then I’ll go to the computer with some new strategy, and it won’t work, and I’ll be desperate again.”

Thomas is not just a password away from bitcoin money. According to Channelsis, about 20% of the current 18.5 million bitcoins, valued at $ 140 billion, are lost to the digital purse.

Like many bitcoin enthusiasts, Thomas participated in cryptocurrency because it was not controlled by a country or a traditional bank. Now, he has some other ideas. “That’s the whole idea of ​​having your own bank – let me put it this way, ‘Do you make your own shoes?” he said. “The reason we have a bank is that we don’t want to deal with everything that banks do.”

But Thomas doesn’t feel bad for it. The Times reported that it held “enough bitcoin to pay more money than it knows.” They also redeemed Ripple XRUSD,
+ 4.69%,
A cryptocurrency start-up he joined back in 2012.

Last check Tuesday, bitcoin was trading above $ 34,000 and is now up nearly 320% over the previous year, while the S&P 500XX,
+ 0.10%
There is an increase of 17%.


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